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What’s Her Name?

mama-sayyida

“Who’s that?” Mama Sayyida asked again within ten minutes.
“She’s my daughter,” I smiled.
“What’s her name?”
“Lilia Sayida”
“Sayida?” she giggled. “Are you serious?”
“Yes. I named her after you.”


My grandmother’s episodic memory is deteriorating by the day – that’s ‘normal aging’ the doctors say. During every single video chat this week she had consistently asked the same question. I had repeatedly answered it in the same way, which was always followed by the exact sentence: ‘you must love me.’

We can’t see her, we can’t hug her, and my daughter hasn’t even met her – I wonder if she ever will. Yet, I’m happy to know that our interactions contribute to recurrent moments of joy, every time she asks, “What’s her name?”

Perhaps it’s the small things that matter.

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